I Resolve To:
New Years Day—the beginning of a new year and the time when people take stock of their lives and many resolve to make changes for the better. Lose weight, exercise more, be kinder to people; are a few of the typical New Year’s Resolutions. However, most people fail to keep their resolutions. They start out with good intentions, but time and habit slowly pull them back into their old ways.
How do you prevent this inexorable backsliding? Here are a few time-tested strategies for reaching any goal.
- Make your goals measureable, and set incremental benchmarks that are easier to achieve. For example, instead of a broad goal such as “I want to lose weight,” set a specific goal, such as “I want to lose one pound a week until I reach my ideal weight.” Achieving these smaller goals gives you a feeling of success and encouragement; making it more likely that you will continue.
- Communicate your resolution to friends and family. Ask them to hold you accountable. They can not only give you moral support in your efforts, but you are less likely to give up when others are watching your progress.
- Don’t make your goals so large that achieving them feels overwhelming. Take baby steps. It’s great to set a long-range plan, but focus only on the first step and how to get there. Once that goal is attained; then look forward to the next one.
- Be patient. It probably took years to reach your present condition, so don’t expect it to change overnight. Again, making these small, incremental changes will give you the momentum to continue down this new path.
So, look forward to the coming year with hope and excitement. Decide what resolutions are most important to you and write them down. Identify the specific steps you will take for each of these goals. Rally your team of supporters and go for it. What have you got to lose, except perhaps the pounds you’ve put on since Thanksgiving?
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